The Nikkor 13mm f/5.6 , dubbed the ‘Holy Grail’ of photography lenses, sold on eBay for $50,000.
Bidding ended on December 21st, with bids rising by $25,000 in the last hour, proving just how interesting this lens from the second half of the 20th century is.
It was noted to be a rare lens sold by Houston Photo Exchange from a “personal collection” and to be in “excellent” condition.
The Houston Camera Exchange team shared what this lens is: “This is something that has been in our collection for decades and we have been debating whether or not to display it .
You can try to do all the research in the world to find out what the market value of something like this is, but you will never know the exact price.
We were pleasantly surprised that it sold for such a price. This is such a rare gem that we knew there would be collectors out there who would want it. This is a truly unique and beautiful lens .”
What makes this lens so special?
It is estimated that there are only 350 of these lenses worldwide. Introduced by Nikon in 1977, it was discontinued in 1998 and is mainly praised for its near-free distortion despite its ultra-wide viewing angle.
Example shooting with NIKKOR 13mm F5.6
The optical design consists of 16 elements in 12 groups. The diagonal viewing angle is 118°, the minimum shooting distance is 0.3 m, the filter installation is on the bayonet side. Dimensions – Ø117 x 110, weight – 1.24 kg.
Ken Rockwell wrote an article about the lens in which he admired it and called it the “Holy Grail”.
“It is Nikon’s greatest lens, and perhaps the greatest lens in photography, because it allows us to take photographs that we cannot take otherwise,” Rockwell wrote.
This is because, despite being a 13mm ultra-wide angle lens, it has about the same distortion as a 50mm lens, making it extremely useful for almost any photographer.
“The Nikon 13mm is the world’s widest distortion-free professional DSLR lens ever made, in any format ,” Rockwell writes. “ This allows us to get closer to our subjects and create images from angles that would otherwise be impossible to imagine . ”
PetaPixel devoted a long article to this.